Newly-developed EN 17351:2020 helps determine the oxygen content in bio-based products 

EN 17351:2020 ‘Bio-based products - Determination of the oxygen content using an elemental analyser’ is a recently published European standard describing a direct method for determining the total oxygen content in bio-based products, thus allowing the certification of bio-based products using standard methods for all relevant elements. The standard provides the reference test method for laboratories, producers, suppliers and purchasers of bio-based products, but can also be useful for authorities and inspection organizations.

The term ‘bio-based’ means 'derived from biomass'. Bio-based products (such as bottles, insulation materials, wood and wood products, paper, solvents, chemical intermediates, composite materials, etc.) are products wholly or partly derived from biomass. It is essential to characterise the amount of biomass contained in the product by, for instance, its bio-based content or bio-based carbon content.

This information can be shared in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer communication and the value of this can be enhanced by applying for a bio-based content certificate. Organizations can use the bio-based content certification scheme to demonstrate the minimum share of bio-based content in their products.

The bio-based content method is based on EN 16785-1:2015.  This standard already provides a method of determining the bio-based content of solid, liquid and gaseous products using the radiocarbon analysis (EN 16640:2017). In addition, elemental is needed to measure carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen as these elements together with the amount of radiocarbon define the bio-based content in products. Several standards were already available for elemental analysis in products but the standard for determination of the oxygen content was still lacking. EN 17351:2020 was developed to fill this gap. The certification of bio-based products can now be completed using standard methods for all relevant elements needed for determination of the bio-based content of products.

EN 17351:2020 was developed by CEN/TC 411 ‘Bio-based products’, whose Secretariat is held by NEN, the Dutch National Standardization Institute, with important contributions from test labs, producers of bio-based products and research institutions. The development of this standard was based on a request by the European Commission: acknowledging the need for common standards for bio-based products, the European Commission issued M/492, with a focus on bio-based products other than food, feed and biomass for energy applications.

Part of the research leading to this document has been performed under the European Union Seventh Framework Programme OpenBio.

For more information, please contact Catherine VIGNERON.